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david robertson

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About david robertson

  • Rank
    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 06/08/1948

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  • Interests
    Full-time restorer and tuner of concertinas, part-time abuser of a 38k Jeffries Anglo. I also arrange for and sing with a 3-part harmony group called Poacher.
  • Location
    Norwich, England

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  1. david robertson

    Advice sought on multi source Anglo

    Bearing in mind that the reeds have already been tuned down by two semitones, tuning them back up again is going to be a risky process... there may simply not be enough steel at the reed tips, especially the smallest ones.
  2. david robertson

    Outstanding C/G Anglo by Shakespeare (I think!)

    This instrument has now been sold via my website.
  3. david robertson

    30-key Ball Beavon in Bb/F

    This instrument has now been sold via my website.
  4. This is a high quality concertina which I believe to be by Thomas Shakespeare. It shares a lot of characteristics with Jeffries and Crabb instruments, and plays in much the same way - fast and fearsomely loud. The fretwork (newly re-plated and polished) is very similar to the Jeffries/Crabb pattern, but the ends are slightly raised, and as far as I know, only Shakespeare made ends like this. I have made and fitted new 7-fold bellows, along with new pads, valves, bushings and straps. I have also replaced all of the chamois gaskets (bellows ends and reed chamber walls), tuned it to modern concert pitch, and refinished the woodwork in French polish. It really is a cracking player - as good an Anglo as has passed through my hands in years. As always, if you're within striking distance of Norwich, you're more than welcome to come and have a squeeze. If not, give me a call on 01603 702644, and we'll see if we can work out a way for you to try it. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Asking price: £3250
  5. david robertson

    30-key Ball Beavon in Bb/F

    Here is a gorgeous 30-key Ball Beavon, made by Crabb, and playing just as you would expect a vintage Crabb to do. It has been variously described as 'assertive', 'strident' and even 'brash' - I thought the last one was a bit unkind! But it is certainly no shrinking violet. If you want to cut a sound swathe through massed melodeons, or be heard in the adjacent parish when playing for the Morris, this could be the one for you. It has had a comprehensive restoration, with new pads, valves, bushes and straps. I have made and fitted new 7-fold bellows, with new chamois seals to the bellows ends and reed chambers, and refinished the woodwork in French polish. And finally, it is tuned to modern concert pitch, ready to enjoy. No original case, I'm afraid, but it has spent the past half-century in a 45rpm record carrying case. As always, if you're within striking distance of Norwich, you're very welcome to come and try it. If not, contact me anyway, and I'm sure we can come to some arrangement. I'm asking £3500 for this one.
  6. david robertson

    It's raining Anglo's!

    Correction... due to a clumsy bit of cut-and-pasting, I said the Ball Beavon is a C/G. In fact, it is in Bb/F.
  7. david robertson

    Do you oil the leather bellows on a concertina?

    For old, dry and crusty gussets (ugh!) I use Connolly Hide Care. It's a white lanolin cream - and lanolin, after all, was what kept the leather in good condition when it was still on the sheep or goat.
  8. david robertson

    It's raining Anglo's!

    Just at the moment, I can offer a choice of five high-quality Anglo's, as follows: 1. 40k Wheatstone Linota, C/G, ebony ends, SN 28227. This is one I restored about 3 years ago, and the owner has now decided, in his own words, that it has about 15 buttons too many for him! It is still in lovely, little-used condition, and a wonderful player. £4000. 2. 30k Wheatstone, C/G, rosewood ends, SN 50325. According to Robert Gaskin's research, this one was made around 1938. I find it hard to believe, though, because it looks, and plays, as if it left the Wheatstone factory last week. £2250. 3. 30k Ball Beavon, C/G, metal ends, SN 8912. Made by Crabb for Ball Beavon, this one is nearing completion - and judging by the way it played before I started work on it, it's going to be a cracker! £3750. 4. 38k Jeffries, Bb/F. Currently sitting on the "to-do" shelf, this one is just as we like to find them, needing only routine restoration, and with an excellent set of reeds. Guide Price £4500. 5. 30k Shakespeare (?), C/G, raised metal ends. Another one from the waiting room. It looks, internally, exactly like a Crabb or Jeffries. Very similar fretwork too, but the ends are slightly raised, which suggests Shakespeare. In any case, it's a quality instrument with a fine set of reeds. Guide price £3750. For further details, contact me via my website (concertina-restoration.co.uk) or call me on 01603 702644.
  9. david robertson

    San-serif Jeffries?

    Hi Alex, I went to have a closer look yesterday, and I too shared my suspicions with the auctioneer... but I'll bet their description won't change! The reeds look fairly clean, but so many pads were adrift that I couldn't get a sound out of it. In addition, the ends had been switched right to left! The bellows are completely shot, and the general condition is so tatty that I never even bothered to look at the stamps on the reed frames... sorry!
  10. david robertson

    San-serif Jeffries?

    No, it's a 38-key Anglo.
  11. david robertson

    San-serif Jeffries?

    I only get 3 or 4 Jeffries a year passing through my hands, but I don't recall ever having seen one with 'C. JEFFRIES MAKER' stamped in a san-serif typeface like this one. Another curiosity is that it seems to have 5 screws securing the bush-board, rather than the usual two. Is it a bit naughty, or just a type of Jeffries that I haven't seen before?
  12. david robertson

    Superb Jeffries in B/F#

    Yes, I know it's unusual, but no, it isn't a mistake. This very rare combination of keys is how it was made, and how all the reeds are stamped. I'm told that it might be quite useful for anyone who likes to play along with Irish pipes, but I also find it a lovely choice for song accompaniment. It has had my usual comprehensive restoration, including new 7-fold bellows, straps, pads, valves, bushes etc. I have stripped and French polished the woodwork, and although the ends look as if they have been replated, in fact they have simply been re-polished by my ace metal finishing man... thanks, Kevin! It is tuned to modern concert pitch, and plays as a Jeffries should - fast, bright, brash and fearsomely loud. If you're within a gnat's crotchet of Norwich, you're more than welcome to come and have a squeeze, or if you have a question, just call me on 044 (0)1603 702644 or drop me a message via this site. Price: £4500
  13. david robertson

    30-button rosewood Lachenal Anglo

    The serial number is 125981. And by the way, I forgot to mention that it's in C/G. On the subject of dating, I'm not sure whether your database covers only Lachenal Anglo's, but in case it also includes English models, I sent you a PM last October, which you may not have spotted, so here's the gist of it again: "I just spotted a Lachenal treble in an auction in Felixstowe which I hope will make a small contribution to your dating database. It comes with its original receipt, dated 11th March 1919, and the serial number is 57772." All the best, David
  14. david robertson

    30-button rosewood Lachenal Anglo

    I'm selling this one on behalf of a regular customer who is thinning the herd a little. It has been through my usual restoration process - new pads, valves, dampers, bushes and straps, plus tuning to modern concert pitch. I have not, however, refinished the woodwork. There are no cracks or breaks in the fretwork, but what you get is the patina that arises from a century of music-making. I have re-bound the bellows, treated them to a new set of green and gold papers, and shimmed the end seals to keep the instrument beautifully airtight. The result is a lovely player, and very good value at £1700. As always, you're welcome to come and try it if you're within striking distance of Norwich, or call me with any questions on 01603 702644.
  15. david robertson

    Jeffries in B/F# (really!)

    Thank you all for your input. My strong inclination is to leave it in its original keys. If it takes a while to sell, I'll use it to sing with... G is sometimes a bit of a stretch for my ageing voice! Mind you, singing with any Jeffries can feel more like a contest than a collaboration!